Montreal-based sympho/black/folk/power metal act BLACKGUARD (formerly PROFUGUS MORTIS), New Jersey's crazy pirate metal drunks SWASHBUCKLE and Canadian progressive death metallers AUGURY have been signed to Nuclear Blast Records after being selected as the winners of the label's "MySpace Band Contest." According to Nuclear Blast, there were around 3,000 artist submissions for the contest, which lasted from May 2008 to October 2008.
Regarding SWASHBUCKLE, Nuclear Blast says in a press release, "SWASHBUCKLE not only impressed us with their great crossover between thrash and punk — think of a mixture of EXODUS, ANTHRAX, S.O.D., SLAYER and RUNNING WILD — but also with their image. SWASHBUCKLE are the first pirate band ever signed to Nuclear Blast! Think 'Pirates of the Carribean' goes metal! Dressed up like pirates and singing pirate songs! The perfect band for every drinking party and metal festival! The band is already having a huge buzz in the USA and we are sure once the album will be out this will also happen in Europe and rest of the world! Watch out for the pirate’s flag with Jolly Roger coming to your neighbourhood!"
SWASHBUCKLE's new album was produced by GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, who had this to say about the band: "A few years ago, I was at a bar and came across this band of over-the-top dudes dressed as pirates that just tore my face off — they immediately became one of my favorite metal bands. Since then, we've done shows together, I played on their album, had them on my album and as my live band. These guys are local heroes; it's great to see them getting out there. They've earned it and deserve the best."
AUGURY is described in Nuclear Blast's press release as "a band for all the fans out there who like their music really progressive! Think NECROPHAGIST meets DREAM THEATER meets OPETH, but with lots of other influences as well! What you should do is to check out the amazingly cool bass playing by Forest!! Their new album was produced by Jean-Francois Dagenais of KATAKLYSM and contains some of the most versatile musicianship you will ever hear! Canada has always delivered some cool technical and progressive bands and AUGURY is a prime example for this! Their new songs that we heard on MySpace blew us away and there was only one logical thing for us to do — sign them!"